Summary: Being an Authentic Follower of Jesus: Commissioned for Mission: Extending the Kingdom
Being an Authentic Follower of Jesus:
Commissioned for Mission: Extending the Kingdom
We are seeing that the ministry of Jesus is the ministry of the Kingdom or as Luke’s describes it as the gospel of the Kingdom. Jesus proclaimed the good news of the kingdom, and demonstrated the power and presence of the kingdom by healing the sick, delivering the oppressed, and even raising the dead. God commands us to center or orient our lives around the kingdom and God promises that everything else will be taken care of. That means that is as we submit ourselves to the King, take on his values and his priorities, then he takes care of us. God can say something will happen because God makes it happen!
In chapter eight Luke has been laying out his case that Jesus has power and authority over the hearts of men (9-10); over nature (22-25); over demonic spirits (26-38); sickness (43-46); and even death (49-56). Now he delegates this power and authority to his disciples and sends them out empty handed to show them that he is their provider (10-17). Luke continues building his case that Jesus’ power and authority extends over any obstacle that is a threat to ministry.
1. Jesus Sought to Win Followers
Jesus called the twelve together. The reason he was able to call them together was that he had won them over to the kingdom. They looked to him as their leader. The goal of a disciple was and is to have an intimate relationship with their mentor to become like him in his message, ministry, and character. There are two reasons for the disciples having this intimate relationship with Jesus. Teaching was transmitted orally and this teaching was to be lived out by being with the teacher and imitating his life. A disciple is not one who just knows the bible. A follower is one who becomes like his mentor – in his message, ministry, and character. So as they spent time with Jesus, they became like him – they took on his values, his character, his message and his ministry. So when they were sent out they preached the message as Jesus and demonstrated the ministry as Jesus.
When I have preached on discipleship I have had a number of people tell me they do not know what to do just live life and invite others into it. Take them with you or invite them to your small group and spend time with them. I take people through books (because I am a reader), but it is my life and passion for Christ that makes the greatest impact.
Let me warn you – you become like the people you spend time with. Spend time with people who are passionate about Jesus and centered around the kingdom and you will become passionate about Jesus and centered around the kingdom. Spend time with people who are lukewarm or cold toward Christ and you will become lukewarm and cold.
2. Jesus Trained His followers
He not only won them over but the purpose of winning them was to train them to continue and extend his ministry. They spent three years with him. Sometimes we think that they spent all their time with him but here he called the twelve together. This demonstrates that they had homes and probably families also. They have been with him, watching him and then participating with him, now they are on their first ministry trip alone and when they return, he debriefs them.